OTTAWA - The village of Ottawa could allow for golf carts to be used within the municipality by the beginning of next year.
Village council heard the first of three readings on a new ordinance spelling out the regulations of using the golf carts and could be passed at the final council meeting in December.

Council agreed to the ordinance after a resident approached council in early October about the usage of golf carts within the village. The ordinance will require golf cart owners to have the vehicles inspected by the village's police department and all carts must match the State of Ohio's requirements for motor vehicles. The police department will then issue a sticker that must be placed on the vehicle showing that it passed inspection.
The ordinance also spells out the laws that go with the operation of the vehicles within the village. An owner or operator must adhere to all laws pertaining to motor vehicles including safety requirements and insurance requirements. The village is also requiring that golf cart operators have a valid driver's license and operators must maintain the cart within two feet of the right side curb and allow for passage of passenger vehicles. Operators may not drive carts on any street in the village where the posted speed is over 35 miles per hours. Additionally golf carts will be prohibited on portions of U.S. Route 224 and State Route 65 unless they are simply crossing the routes however on the allowed portions of the routes, carts may only exit the highways by turning right so as not to cross in front of passenger vehicles.
All golf carts operated within the village limits must have properly installed seat belts that include two belts per bench and all people operating the carts must wear the lap belts while the carts are in operation. Relating to the seat belts, the driver of the cart will be responsible for ensuring that all child restraint laws are in effect for the motor vehicle.
Golf carts will not be allowed on any sidewalks within the village and any cart must have no fewer than four wheels to pass inspection.
Separately, Ottawa resident Dick Edelbrock brought an issue to council regarding the installation of sidewalks on Meadow Glen Avenue between State Route 109 and U.S. Route 65. He said he repeatedly sees children walking in the area and feared that they would be hit by a passing vehicle if the sidewalks did not get installed soon. The village assured Edelbrock that the sidewalks would be installed as soon as the weather allows. The village has contracted with Dale's Concrete in Leipsic for the sidewalk installation.